NJPW World Tag League Night Six Review

Large Mike looks a bit worried. Credit: NJPW

The four-match cards continue, and – surprise, surprise – this one actually looks a bit tasty. I haven’t been coming into these shows excited about what I’m going to see, but this might buck the trend. Which probably means I’m going to come out disappointed. Damn, heightened expectations. Let’s dish out some cautiously optimistic stars.

CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) (2) defeated David Finlay and Katsuya Kitamura (0)

It’s the fight we all want to see. Credit: NJPW

Yano should not be allowed to beat up Kitamura. I know it’s how the Young Lion system works, but the court jester shouldn’t work over Lancelot’s squire.

Arthurian comparisons aside, I was willing to accept that mismatch to get to the important stuff. Kitamura and Ishii. Ishii gave the big man a lot as he absorbed those chops and bumped around for him. The two of them worked the majority of the match, and Kitamura was close to coming out on top.

Of course, he didn’t. Ishii fired up and dealt out a beating of his own. One huge brainbuster later and goodnight my sweet prince. This was under ten minutes, and yet it did all that it needed to do.

Verdict: Two And A Half Stars

Guerillas Of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa) (2) defeated Togi Makabe and Henare (0)

Catch me! Credit: NJPW

This is a big tournament for Henare. Even if he spends most of it staring up at the lights, he needs to remind people why he was once the Young Lion with all the hype.

And so far, he’s doing a decent job. He’s working the majority of his matches (by which I mean basically all of them because, you know, Makabe) and he’s showing a lot of fire. His opening flurry after GOD disrespected him in this one was cool, and he looks good taking a beating. It will be a while before he catches up with his peers, but as of now, he’s showing enough personality to stand out.

Everything else can be described by the tournament’s buzzword, fine. If you want to check on Henare, you can give it a watch. Otherwise, don’t bother.

Verdict: Two Stars

War Machine (Hanson and Raymond Rowe) (4) defeated The Best Friends (Beretta and Chuck Taylor) (2)

You still with us Chuckie? Credit: NJPW

I’ve taken up many internet inches raving about War Machine, so I’m going to focus this review on our Best Friends. Are they not a goddamn delight? They slipped into a sneakier role here against the fan favourites, but it was blended with their usual silliness. They just used that silliness to try and catch War Machine off-guard.

What makes Best Friends act work is that while they are amusing, that doesn’t stop them being fantastic wrestlers. They blend the comedy into their spots. At one point Chuck Taylor declared that he wanted Hanson in the ring because Rowe wasn’t big enough. A few minutes later Rowe KOd him with one elbow, and he sold it like he was dead. It was a perfect set-up and execution and allowed Trent to get hot at Raymond for hurting his best friend.

All that comedy took what was, on the surface, another alright showing and made it sparkle. Styles make matches, and sometimes those styles have to clash. In War Machine and Best Friends, you have a perfect example of that, and it made for one hell of a fun time.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr) (4) defeated Michael Elgin and Jeff Cobb (2)

Feed me those suplexes. Credit: NJPW

This had all the potential in the world. It came down to how much effort these four were willing to put into it.

What I definitely wasn’t expecting was for this to kick off with Smith and Cobb chain wrestling. It’s always nice to see wrestlers show off their skills, it just wasn’t quite what I tuned in for. It bled into KES working over Cobb and attacking his leg. Again, excellent tag work, but when are they going to start chucking each other around?

Eventually, Elgin got the hot tag and business begun to pick up. We stopped chain wrestling and started with the fists. Then Cobb was throwing people and thank God, I was getting worried.

Despite an improved second half this match didn’t live up to my expectations. It felt like they tried to do much. It was longer than most of these tournament showings have been, and I think they overthought it. If they’d just gone out and done some big boy wrestling, this would have been great. Instead, it was merely decent.

Verdict: Three Stars

Overall Show

Up, up and away. Credit: NJPW

This is one of the better nights of World Tag League so far. We had two impressive Young Lion showings followed by a good match from War Machine and Best Friends and a decent main event. It’s still nothing more than a glorified house show, but if you’re going to pick one night to watch so far, this is the one.

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